“Everyone that loves is born of God and knows God.”

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Long ago whist at college my daughter’s class was asked by an atheistic teacher.

“Whoever here believes in God, stand up.” Only she and a Muslim girl dared to stand.

“And why do you believe?” He continued. Their answers were very similar, they had both seen God work in their lives and miraculously answer prayer. Not to be put off he announced.

“Well you, pointing to my daughter, are Christian, but how come this girl is Muslim says the same thing?” She couldn’t answer and came home troubled. I had never considered the question and had to pray for the answer. It came instantly.

God loves all His children whoever they are and whatever faith they embrace. If someone prays with a pure and believing heart He will answer (even if they call Him by another name). My daughter was content with that answer. For me however it triggered other questions.

I’ve never believed that if someone hasn’t received Jesus they’ll burn in hell for eternity – though a common fundmentalist doctrine, that just doesn’t jive with all I’ve known of God. What about all those that never had a chance to hear? Rather I’ve found Him to be far more loving, more merciful, going to far greater extremes to redeme His children than I could envisage. I think not to know Jesus maybe means to miss out on the fulness of life He brings right here and now, the joy, the freedom, the healing, the solace.

It is my personal belief that, rather than God as a stern judge dealing out rewards and eternal punishment at death, we, in a sense, judge ourselves. When God is revealed in all His splendour we either run to embrace Him, cringe in guilt and shame begging for mercy, or run in fear or rebelion. To come before God drenched in sin is perhaps akin to someone drenched in gasoline confronting a fire. God is always loving, forgiving, but we can only come into His presence naked and humble (one cannot pretend with God) we cannot bear His presence with any taint of sin or subterfuge.

It says “God looks on the heart” we must be careful to do likewise. A self-righteous, holier than thou Christian may further from God than a big-hearted atheist. Perhaps some of the “saved” may find themselves raised, not to glory, but to “everlasting shame and contempt” for their lack of love toward humanity, and the shamed single mum who loved too ardently find,  she that loves much will be forgiven much. Perhaps that’s what it means about the last being first and the first last.

The only effective way to stop ISIS.

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So now my own country has joined in the bombing (UK).

I haven’t heard a single voice in favour, (and it’s a hot topic!) Everyone seems horrified that they could be so stupid. It has come to a bad state where even the most uninformed and uneducated has more sense than those who are in power. (But then sadly I doubt they are really that stupid, I’d venture corruption, either by greed or manipulation.)

I can see a possible need for force in some situations, but generally speaking you can’t bomb a philosophy, you have to disprove it. All this bombing is like throwing gasoline on a fire. The way to stop a fire is to not feed it, and douse its oxygen supply with compassion, camaraderie and love.

You are …

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Image of God
born of God’s breath
vessel of divine Love
after His likeness
dwelling of God
capacity for the infinite
eternally known
chosen of God
home of the Infinite Majesty
abiding in the Son
called from eternity
life in the Lord
temple of the Holy Spirit
branch of Christ
receptacle of the Most High
wellspring of Living Water
heir of the kingdom
the glory of God
abode of the Trinity.
God sings this litany
eternally in His Word.
This is who you are.
Anonymous Trappist monk

Playing it forward!

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A 95-year-old Jewish publisher saved from Nazi-occupied Austria as a child is now funding the flight of Syrian Christians who are seeking refuge from ISIS.

Lord George Weidenfeld says he has “a debt to repay” after Christian Quakers and the Plymouth Brethren helped him escape to Britain in 1938.

Last Friday, the Weidenfeld Safe Havens Fund supported the transport of 150 people flown by privately-chartered plane from Syria to Poland. The fund aims to provide 12 to 18 months of paid support for up to 2,000 Christians in Syria and Iraq seeking refuge from the extremist group’s persecution.

His work was inspired by the late Sir Nicholas Winton, who helped save 669 mostly Jewish children from Czechoslovakia at the start of World War II.

(READ more at The Independent) – Photo: YouTube

True Brotherhood.

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(from July 2014

Song Bird Songs

kurds

This true story began many years ago. A friend while traveling with his family in Greece had come across a Kurdish refugee camp. There were 600 refugees and four water taps, garbage was everywhere and there was little or no organisation. Worst of all there was no doctor or clinic – some arrived with gunshot wounds and stories of atrocities abounded…

He was not a doctor, just a male nurse, but he couldn’t ignore their plight. Holiday adventure forgotten they stayed on to help making a tenuous living singing in restaurants over the weekends (he had a great voice). His pregnant wife had just had a baby and with two other small children they needed help urgently. That’s why we went.

The day I entered the city of squalid tents the Greek authorities decided to move the whole embarrassing populace out of the camp. It had been allocated in winter…

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